Released 2013 (USA)
American & British, in English
Director - Steve McQueen
Stars - Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael Fassbender, and many others you’ll recognize
Based on a true story. In 1840s America, when freedman Solomon Northrup (Ejiofor) is kidnapped and sold into slavery, it takes him twelve years to find a way home. Nyong’o co-stars as Patsey, a fellow slave, and Fassbender as Edwin Epps, Solomon’s second slave owner.
Blue language, including liberal use of the n-word; both female and male nudity (full frontal for one female); non-graphic sexy times; rape; and extreme violence.
With a few notable exceptions (Solomon; Patsey; Master Ford, played by Benedict Cumberbatch), I felt that many of the characters were a bit one-dimensional.
I thought the beginning was a little confusing (although I was perhaps not paying close attention at first).
Some really great performances. Both Ejiofor and Nyong’o were amazing. I was also really impressed with Fassbender, who played someone really different than other roles I’ve seen him in. He was thoroughly chilling as the unstable Epps.
First, a hopefully amusing anecdote. A few weeks ago, I thought to myself, “I better put ‘12 Years a Slave’ on hold at the library because it’s probably popular and it’ll take me a while to get it.” So I went online to the library’s website, only to discover that there were already 108 holds on 26 copies of the movie. Therefore, in order to finish this project before next year, I rented it from iTunes. That’s a singular distinction. I saw the vast majority of these movies by borrowing them from the public library, a handful via Netflix, and a few from my personal collection.
I give it 4 stars.